I’m a huge advocate of gelling your flash. It’s one of those things that a lot of photographers just discovering off-camera lighting will often fly right past without much thought (I know I did). Even after you get that first stack or plastic bag of gels, knowing how to apply them can be a little intimidating. Enter Michigan-based Photographer Rob Hall’s expert instructions on how you should or could be using your color temperature blue (CTB) gels.
In a recent video on his YouTube channel, Hall gives a thoughtful introduction to color temperature and how gelling a flash blue can benefit your photography when shooting in the shade. I know that I’m guilty of thinking about color temperature orange gels first whenever I start modifying light. Rob’s blue gel tutorial gave me simple, direct motivation to put my CTB gels at the front of my mind the next time I’m using a flash outside. “Given the adjustment power of a raw file, white balance can be easy to ignore,” Hall told Fstoppers. “While a CTO is common for balancing flash to tungsten lighting, the use of CTB on location is rare.”
He’s so right. I was shocked by how many comments on Hall’s video seemed to reveal the neglect that the CTB gel is getting in the photography community. It just goes to show you that you can never absorb too much information about the things that fundamentally drive imaging, even if you think you’ve mastered it all. “YouTube comments show this is 'revolutionary' to some experienced photographers,” Hall said. “Overall, it's an underused tool that won't fill the gear bag. Being aware of the control and effects that gels provide is increasingly important as our industry continues to value working in unique locations.”
Are you using CTB gels regularly to balance color or for effect? Let us know below.